Saturday, July 31, 2010

Off We Go!

the face that awaits us

As I write this, I'm sipping on the fabulous coffee that only Ethiopia can produce and I hear Kai in the background packing his bags. He just yelled from the bedroom that he would like the bag of diapers we're taking to the orphanage be used on the return trip solely for more coffee, as he plans to bring home as much as possible without raising a red flag at customs upon our return through JFK. Funny, because I was just thinking the same thing. I yell back, "but of course!"

After exploring, trekking and seeing the ins and outs of Addis on trip one, our return trip feels like we're returning to old friends in a way. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely on the warm & fuzzy tip. Almost like a little kid who gets homesick at camp and gets an early exit ticket home. And the best part is knowing what lies ahead on this trip. I can't begin to put it into words, so I'll stick to the logistics.

This is the hunker-down-round with the majority of our time being spent at the guest house with Niko. (that just makes me want to burst) Our plan is to take placement shortly after our Tuesday arrival, meaning someone from the staff will bring Niko to our guest house around 3pm local time on Tuesday. (possibly a little later because I think he takes a 1pm nap)

We're staying at Bejoe which offers sooo much for what a new family needs. All bedrooms have a bathroom, crib if needed, high speed internet on location, laundry, communal kitchen, livingroom, nice yard and the best part? Caregivers are on hand if you need assistance and they are familiar with all the children and the children know them from being in the Gladney care centers. What a great transition for both child and parent.

So, of course Niko's bag was packed first (ours are still works in progress). It wasn't easy packing for him. There were many calls to The Mother who offered greatly needed advice. In addition to the in-country bag, a separate bag is packed for his plane ride home.

the clothes he will wear

Long ago, I read a tip that I printed and stuffed into the "When We Travel" folder. It was from an adoptive mother who also had a long flight home. She created 10 one-gallon size Ziploc bags, each with: a not-fancy outfit (no onesies), socks and a Huggies overnight pamper. They all went in one zipped carry bag with a carry-size packet of wipes. This was in the event her baby faced the very common bout of bad-tummy, to put it mildly. It's a no-thought process now. Grab the wipes and a baggie and head to the bathroom. The new outfit goes on while the dirty one gets sealed in the Ziploc, thrown in the bag and all will get tossed upon departure.

Also packed for the plane are toys, snacks, blankets, a stuffed toy, teethers, food, bottles, formula and a carrier. We've also packed a bundle of earplugs for our neighbors sitting nearby. Another tip from a mother making this journey suggested offering earplugs to fellow passengers. She said it worked like a charm. She let them know her baby may cry (or may not) but in the event he does, this is her little bit of peace to them. All were very respectful, even offering assistance when she needed it.

the place he will dine

So, upon our return I'll let you know what really happened and how these plans all panned out in 'real life'. You can probably tell by now, I'm a bit anxious about the flight home!

Okay, so I must stop yapping now and get back to what's at hand here. We leave tomorrow and our to-list isn't getting done with me blogging and drinking my fabulous coffee! For some reason, I couldn't log onto our blog from Ethiopia on our last trip, but will try to update via Facebook. My sister may jump in again too. (thanks Man!)

The next few days and weeks are going to be ones we will forever remember. On one hand this is so very hard to get one's head around, while it also feels so natural.
I just want to stop anticipating and DO. To be with him and start this journey.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Update: File Has Been Found!!!

There have been a few heroes along our journey and today I'm adding a new one to our list and will simply refer to her as Ms. M.

Ms. M is one of the many employees in one of the many feds' offices we've contacted since hearing the news last Wednesday that we may not travel to pick up our son. Turns out, Ms M is a grandmother of not one, but two, adopted grandchildren. She's in the know. She gets it. And...she's a government official in the very department we need an advocate right now. We bow down to her.

About an hour ago, we received an update from the NH office that our file has been located, is being entered into the U.S. system and will be processed to Addis within the next 24-48 hours.

Ms M,
We thank you and our family thanks you. We are forever grateful.

I am now going to bed and plan to sleep for eight *gasp* hours. Yes, I really am.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby!

Niko turns nine months old today. Instead of cupcakes and sweets, which will be the obvious treat for all future birthdays once his little toes touch down on U.S. soil, I spent most of yesterday with some good 'ole fashioned nuts & bolts for the immune system. We now have enough pureed mango/banana, sweet potatoes and carrots for twenty five meals.

I had hoped this would be the weekend we spent in a giddy-fog as we packed Niko's homecoming bag, our bags, some more donation items for the orphanage and ran the final errands before flying out next Sunday. As more bits came in from various sources this weekend, our odds of flying have significantly dropped. In turn, our personal efforts have spiked in equal value.

I am headed to our congressman's office this morning on my way to work. Should our file not be scanned by end of day today, I'll be heading to New Hampshire either tonight or tomorrow morning to sit in their office and await some personal attention. It was confirmed late Friday that this is where our updated file (remember the lovely Officer? This is where she sent it) is most likely sitting in the mailroom awaiting scan & upload into the National Visa Processing system. Yes, it may be a shot in the dark but we're running out of shots here and I'll take what we can get. The senator's office will also be getting involved today, as they are already in the loop and willingly offered assistance.

I must also say that we've faced zero resistance from anyone who ends up hearing our situation. Everyone is accomodating and onboard to offer whatever help they can. If the person at the front desk of this office follows suit, we may see a positive outcome after all.

To recap, once our file is scanned in the U.S. system it will be cabled (emailed) to the embassy in Addis, Ethiopia for our scheduled embassy appointment (8/5) . We're told this can take from one day to weeks to appear. We don't have weeks.

It's a risk, but at this point it's likely one of us will be flying if our scan makes it into the U.S. system but doesn't reach Ethiopia. The reason...there are still four days it COULD arrive (8/1-8/5) and if we don't get on the plane and our embassy appointment is ready to go, can you imagine the horror if the parents didn't show up???

Thanks again for everyone's support. It really does make a difference and we appreciate it. I know some of you have emailed and asked about our trip, but to be honest I don't have the time nor the energy right now to tell that story with proper attention to do it justice. I will tell it, but not until this is resolved.

Stay tuned as The Drama of The Prints continues...

On a sidenote, the blog design we've been using has changed on the backend and will be updating shortly. In the meantime, you may see some funky things in the layout.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Are You KIDDING Me???

It’s 4:30am and I’m up again, except today isn’t because of jet lag. That’s long gone.

Today I’m up because at 3:30am the double knots in the stomach came back in full force after replaying yesterday’s events in my head. I thought at this point I would be posting pictures from our trip and telling warm & fuzzy stories about how we have the most adorable, perfect son in the world. Not so.

I received a call from our caseworker mid-day yesterday. She wanted to recap all the bits of our trip and asked if I would be interested in being a guest on next week’s conference call with a Q&A style covering any pertinent details for fellow families. Absolutely!
The conversation then turned to one that involved the words...great concern you will not travel as expected.

Our CIS fingerprints have gone missing. They expired on 7/15, so the extension we filed and reprinting we did on 6/29 did not make it into the newly updated USCIS centralized computer system. Once our prints go through the state division, they are then processed through the National Visa Processing Center where they are reviewed and once given the okay, cabled through to the embassy in Ethiopia. (Our embassy date is 8/5)

Six business days remain for the above to occur and nobody has records of our prints to even start this ball rolling. The alternative? To reprint, we’re looking at an estimated two months. Embassy dates in Ethiopia are only every other Thursday. We would have to fit into the next available one, which is anyone’s guess.

This is what caused an eight minute mental breakdown in my boss’ office yesterday, which enabled me to decompress and come back in full force with proper frame of mind to be productive. (she gave the okay to work on this for as long as necessary, ending with “bring that boy home”) I gathered all necessary documents and began emailing and calling anyone who would listen that works in immigration in the U.S. Three hours in, a “live” woman answered her phone. She referred to herself as an Officer. I liked that title for what we needed right now and knew this was our woman.

I think the most productive 30 minutes of my life were spent with my Officer. She willingly engaged all resources on her end after listening to our situation and began recreating our paperwork! Much more to it, but this is the gist…if this works, our file should show in the National Visa Processing Center by Monday of next week, allowing three business days for processing before being transferred to Ethiopia. (I am purely speculating that they need three days, only because that’s what WE need to meet deadline. I’m hoping that’s reasonable.)

If this new scenario works, we will travel next Sunday, 8/1 as planned. If our file is not in Ethiopia by next Friday, we will not travel. We’ll then await word on reprinting or await the appearance of our file and then wait for a new embassy date.

I must also mention (and this is the advice part, should this happen to others) that during those three hours of scouring for officials to listen to me, I had left messages with the NJ senators’ offices. After speaking to my Officer (the one who helped) I did receive a call back from the senator’s office. They listened to our situation and advised to call back Monday if we still need assistance. My advice is to get them on the horn immediately if you see your prints lapsing in the new system, just in case you need them down the line.

I’ll end with this…a new mother recently asked me if she could ask a personal question which was, At what point in the adoption process do you have the attachment feeling of a mother/child bond? (I welcome all questions like this because it makes ME think too.)
My answer was, it’s a gradual process that grows stronger through each phase of the process. I’ve now changed it to…
Meet your son, play with him, hold him, squeeze him, have a federal judge deem you a family by law, get on a plane, leave him behind and then be told you can’t get him because a piece of paper is missing.

You’re far beyond a mother/family. It’s like this little guy has been with us forever now and someone has temporarily taken him away, not that he hasn’t arrived yet.

And on what planet do fingerprints expire?

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Highs & Cries of Trip #1

First Family Photo (Niko is mid-raspberry)

I missed you!!! Thank you to my sis for updating while we were away and thank you all for the support! I didn't realize the power of my virtual circle of friends until I had no access to you.

This post may be a bit scattered, as I'm a bit jetlagged and have only been home a few hours but am forcing myself to stay awake until this evening with hopes of making tomorrow at work a smooth transition. I'll include more details per day in future updates, but wanted to jump right in with a recap of our trip to hopefully offer some insight to the other familes who will be traveling twice. It may be a long one, but I'll try to hit the key points and move on. The focus will be on Wednesday, our court date.

It's important to note that because we were the first family to travel twice, some items here should be taken with a grain of salt because many logistics are a work in progress. For example, we were also the only family in country so cultural events did not happen and will be worked in to our second trip (other families will do cultural events on first trip; bonding on second). Also, we were appearing in court on behalf of an infant adoption. I believe the process (both court plans & Gladney plans) will vary for toddler age & above.

First bit of advice: Take the tissues ladies! I cried each day for a completely different reason; some good, some not so good.

Our Week
Monday: Arrival Day (do our own thing)
Grabbed our driver and started exploring. The sights, sounds and smells of Ethiopia are like no other. Very powerful.

Tuesday: The Niko Meeting!!! (one hour in a.m.) happy tears all around!
I must say, I was more intimidated and anxious to meet our son than I was to meet the judge on the following day. There are no words to describe him. He's perfect! (there's a good word) He warmed to Kai after awhile but is not a big fan of moi. I must say that I liked the way he looked to the caregivers to see if we were 'okay'. He will one day look to me the same way. I'm not worried about it and had to laugh. It means he's on track for proper attachment. However, after 18 months of waiting for this day - yes, a smile would have been nice instead of 'who is this lady & when is she leaving?' looks!!! ha! It's all good :)

Wednesday: court (9am @ Gladney office; 9:30am in court; seen at 10:15'ish)
Court is held in a nondescript room on the second level of a government office building. The waiting room is medium size with approx 10-15 folding chairs lining each wall for adopting parents and birth family members. Along one wall is a door to the judge's office which is much smaller, containing the judge's desk, a table and a few chairs. The various agencys' attorneys stand in line outside this door on behalf of their clients and are called in by the judge's assistant. On this day, there were three other agencies with about 9 families in total awaiting their court dates.
As we waited (30'ish minutes) you couldn't help feeling the tension of extreme emotions in the room; family loss & growth happening with each family's exit of the judge's room. I felt the stare of a woman who I noticed immediately upon entering the waiting room. She appeared to be a grandmother, possibly great-grandmother, of a child being relinquished. Wrapped in a worn blanket and more than worn shoes, she continued a heavy gaze my way. I connected with her and tried to offer my best "OMG woman, I want to run across this room and give you the biggest hug" smile I could muster, considering I was ready to burst into tears. She stared back, smiled and gave me the warmest, most all-knowing 'everything is okay' smile with a nod. That's what put me over the edge. I smiled back humbly with a reply nod, turned to Kai and the tears started to flow. In the background, the other families were passing with happy tears and gentle cheers, while trying to respect all others in the room.

Shortly after that we were called in front of the judge. A very nice woman who asked us the following:
1) Why did you choose to adopt?
2) Why Ethiopia?
3) What preparations have you made?
4) Have you met this child?
5) Have you told your family about your adoption?
6) Have you completed any training?
7) Do you understand this contract can not be undone once approved?
8) I AM APPROVING YOUR CONTRACT!!! (happy tears)

Dressing for Court: biz casual
I saw men in suits & ties and men without ties in nice dress pants. Kai wore a tie (not in pix but he put it on when we got there) with dress pants and no jacket.

Women had a wide range: open toed sandals with casual mid-length skirt and leggings to a skirt/jacket suit with closed toe heels. I wore a full-length cotton dress with scarf & light sweater and closed toe shoes with hair pulled back.
The key is to be respectful.

Thursday: The Niko Meeting Part II (one hour in a.m.)
This went much better. We came a little earlier this morning so we didn't cut into his much-loved naptime. I think this had a lot to do with his energy, which was great. He was a little more curious about who we were, played a little more with us, still warmer to Kai than me but today I offered to feed him the end bit of his bottle. This got me a few little pats on my arm from him as he drank. *heart melted* He is THE BEST!

Following this, we had the priviledge of delivering care packages and meeting with the kiddies of waiting families. Oh my! This was amazing! These kids are thriving, happy, full of energy and in the best possible care while waiting for their moms & dads to arrive. What a program Gladney has put in place and with such care of keeping the child first. Love it.

Friday: more exploring and working on creating Niko's life book
Gained more info into Niko's story. These children have such heartbreaking stories, it just makes the mind spin. How is this okay??? Hearing more details brought out the mama-bear and made me want to run back to the care center, squeeze him and never let go. The children are so much stronger than we can ever imagine.

Saturday: The Niko Meeting Part III (one hour in a.m.)
Wonderful!!! Again, we came earlier to avoid any naptime interference which appeared to be key. This was our best meeting yet. These times are not intended for bonding, so as not to confuse the children once we leave, so a lot of play is involved with other children around. Niko interacted with us so much with loads of smiles, bouncing, clapping, raspberries and the almighty baby-belly-laugh when Kai tickled him. I even got a few smiles from him!!! I want this kid home NOW!

So, this was our final meeting which brought on tears. However, there was so much information from the staff re: our next trip, what to prepare for, how short our turnaround is, etc that I walked out on such a high note, thinking - This was much easier than I ever expected. Maybe it was because we spent three meetings with him, not just one. Maybe it was because our embassy date was so soon that we would be back in country in 16 days. Whatever it was, we left happy - not sobbing the big ugly cry, which I expected.
However...later that evening (still feeling more excited than sad) our hotel shuttle arrived to take us to the airport. There it was. The ugly cry came in full force on the way to the airport. We had two layovers coming home and the same thing happened on each plane as we took off. I think it was knowing we were moving further away from him that did this. It was so fast & furious and then Kai would pull up a few photos of the trip and again say, this is our happy place. It helped a lot.

We even put a photo of Niko in the empty middle seat, with his seat belt securely fastened, on one leg of our trip home. :)

I think the key thing to remember is we've all been in this for 18 mos+ and it sucks beyond words to leave our child there but the positive news is that they are OURS and we are THEIRS, finally!!! You will be leaving as parents!!! And yes, three to six weeks is tough when you've met, played and hugged your baby BUT we're tough and if we can hang in there for a year & a half, we can make it three to six weeks longer.
(so she says. we'll see tomorrow.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Good morning everyone! I just got off the phone with Tamara. She squealed into the phone, 'WE are parents! WE passed!' So, of course, I immediately took to blogging to let all of you know.

Here is the scoop: They met with the attorney this morning around 9:00 a.m. Then they went to the courthouse about 9:30 a.m. Court began at 10:00 a.m. She said it was over by 10:15 a.m. However, she said it is very emotional. The court itself goes very fast. She said there are so many poverty stricken families present that are there to turn over their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. She said it is a very sad, humbling experience. The court itself is held in a small room. She said it is not what we would consider a courtroom here. The judge is sitting at the desk. The judge asks some questions and then gives you the verdict right then.

There were 9 families ahead of them from two different European agencies. She said they all passed as well.

Tonight Tamara and Kai are going to a different location that the driver said they will be able to have internet service, hopefully!!!!! She is going to try to blog to you all tonight specifically about the questions they ask, what to wear, etc.

Thanks for all your support you have given Tamara and Kai. She is going to be calling me back tomorrow with their return date. They are suppose to hear something by the end of the day today or tomorrow morning to let them know their embassy date.

I will let you all know next time I hear from her.....


Tamara just called me back. They received their embassy date of August 5, 2010. They return to Ethiopia on August 1, 2010 and fly back to the U.S. on August 7, 2010
They will touch down on U.S. soil as a family on August 8!!!!!! They will only be back home for about two weeks before they return to get HIM!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An Ethiopian Update

I know so many of you are waiting on pins and needles to learn of Tamara and Kai's progress. I am her sister and have been put in charge of updating her blogworld of their progress and experiences.

I just received a phone call from Tamara in Ethiopia. They had originally set their courtdate for July 14, then it was moved to July 15, now it is back to July 14. Yep, tomorrow guys!!! It's showtime....She is suppose to call me tomorrow, following court, to give me the news. They will be meeting with the attorney at 9 am tomorrow, followed by court at 10 am (Ethiopian time). They will find out tomorrow if they pass. Because we are all very positive thinkers and envision lollipops, rainbows, and gumdrops....She will be calling to tell me they passed, along with their return date to pick HIM up. (do you see the emphasis HE already has in this family!!!)

Now, onto the best news!!!!! They met HIM today. She was so excited. She started crying just describing him to me. They were able to video their time with him. Their visit was an hour long, well, unfortunately for HIM, their hour visit went into HIS naptime. Apparently, dude digs his naps!!!! He was a little upset over missing some much needed shut-eye, but he hung in there like a trooper and spent some much needed time with Tamara and Kai. She described him as big, bouncy, alert, wonderful, and the BEST!!!!! He really took to Kai and warmed up to him more than Tamara. She said she walked with HIM for a short distance and her elbows began shaking because HE is rather.......healthy!!!!!

When they arrived in the room, the social worker was with them. That is standard because everything they do is to protect the children. Also in the room upon their arrival, was the physical therapist and occupational therapist. They were really glad to see these experts in the room with the children. These professionals are available to all the children in the room as they are needed.

Tamara said the one thing they were not prepared for was the drain your body takes after the visit. She said she couldn't sleep last night. She was so nervous, excited, anxious, her hands were shaking, etc. They had waited their whole lives for this moment, and it was finally here!!!! The adrenaline was pumping through their body so much. When the visit concluded and they went back to their house, they both crashed. She said they both took a nap before lunch. The emotional toll was not something either of them had prepared for. When I spoke with her, it was post nap, she sounded great....she was on cloud nine.

They will get to visit with HIM 1 hour on Thursday and 1 one on Friday. HE will not be in court due to his age. With these new laws, they are beginning to enforce some changes. Toddlers are allowed to be present in court, however, babies are not. They are also going to be limiting the visitation based on ages. Toddlers will likely have a more limited visitation than the babies.

She raved about their driver. She said they would be lost without him. I am looking forward to her phone call tomorrow.....I will keep all of you updated as I hear from Tamara. Thanks for reading. I know my verbage isn't as exciting as my sister's. She got the talent in the family!!!!

On a side note: I wanted to wish all of you the best of luck with your adoptions. I have never seen anything like what my sister has gone through. It has truly been a roller coaster ride for everyone. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. I performed natural childbirth with twins that had a combined weight of over 13 pounds....I can tell you.....That was nothing compared to what you guys go through on these adoption adventures. Best of luck to you all, hang in there....One day your family will be blogging for you while you are visiting with your child.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


We have officially checked-in for the flight of our lives!

Yes, I'm the girl who jumps on the airline's website exactly 24 hours prior to a flight in order to guarantee the best seats. You know, the seats you were unable to confirm when you purchased your tickets - like ours which landed us in a single file (duo) aisle format, one if front of the other. Well, now we have a great couples seat side-by-side where we can throw on our eyemask and plop in our earplugs and snooze away. And if that really happens, I will be one happy lady because the reality is that what I feel right now does not allow for sleep! After 18 months of waiting, it still doesn't feel like it's happening.

Considering I still have loads to do tonight, I will wrap this up with...

#1...THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for the texts in the middle of the night and emails and wall posts and calls (and more texts) from those other waiting mamas who 'get it', to our family who jumped onboard the minute we mentioned we're adopting and continue to wait on pins & needles along side of us, to our new Gladney family who have taken Baby N under their wings until we get there and to all our friends who have rooted us along the entire way and have all somehow morphed into an entire community of newfound aunts & uncles. A final thanks goes out to the WorldWideWeb. What in the world did adopting families do prior to the internet? I can't imagine this experience being the same without the power of the internet.

#2...We had some updates today prior to our trip and it appears we are the only family in-country next week. Our court date is not the 14th, but the 15th. And the best? It is very possible we will visit Baby N THREE (3) times!!!! The final visit would be the day after court. Do you know what that means? If we pass on Thursday, 7/15 and visit him on Friday, 7/16 - he is OURS and we are HIS!!! When I mentioned a family photo earlier it didn't include a post-court date shot. That may now be the case. *happy dance*

That will also assist in minimizing the big "ugly cry" that is inevitable as we board the plane while leaving him behind. By not having our court date be the last time seeing him (across the room), things are that much better right now. This is such a pleasant surprise and something I hope sticks for all families coming through. I was dreading seeing him in court without hanging with him, followed by our departure.

#3...We're hoping to have internet service and plan to update. If we're dropping a package for you, your kiddie should have it by Wed 7/14 and if all goes well with our tech side of things, we'll have photos for you all and video. The video may be sent when we return, unless it's something I can easily master and magically put together with our internet at hand.

So, to recap:

Tomorrow - 6pm flight to Cairo & hang for the weekend
Monday - arrive Addis
Tuesday - our first Baby N sighting
Thursday - COURT DATE
Saturday - midnight flight out and begin working our way back to NYC

Off to finish last minute details.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Here We Come, Baby N!

In nine days we'll have our first family photo!!!

Well, kind of. We still have to pass court on 7/14 to officially be considered a "family" on paper but nonetheless, all three of us will be in the same room next Tuesday, 7/13 and we will be snapping away. The following day we'll appear in court, hopefully pass and then be issued our embassy date. That's the date we'll return to Ethiopia (early/mid August) to bring our son home.

Since passing our first court date (6/30), it seems things have been moving at warp speed with things to prepare, lists to check off and of course the holiday weekend. One thing I'm experiencing though that I wanted to pass on to waiting families is the sense of completeness you will feel. I can't help but contribute the agony of waiting for this day to happen and knowing you're done with it that makes it that much more complete. The ups & downs of this roller coaster over the past 1+ years gains so much momentum as you near court date that it does quite a job on one's sanity at times.

One thing that hit me when our caseworker called was, I can take the tags off now!

We have a nursery packed full of goodies; all with their store tags firmly in place. In the back of my mind, I couldn't go to the level of permanancy that requires one to remove the tags before putting the clothes away. What if something happened? Would I be jinxing something? How could we ever handle this if something fell through for some bizarre reason in the final hour? Well, I'm over that now and with scissors in hand...there will not be one tag remaining in Baby N's nursery when I'm done! It's happening and all the weight we've carried around for the past months, that only got heavier toward the end, is gone.

If you're waiting, just know that there is an end in sight and all the crazies will soon make sense! If you're a reader of this blog and not an adopting parent, you may have no idea what I'm referring to. If you're an AP, I'm sure you get it. We're all crazies together on some level :)


Our bags are packed - three in total:
Bags One & Two: humanitarian aide
Bag Three: our clothes, care packages (which we'll drop with waiting families' children) and a small package for Baby N

Word of advice on air travel:
Read the fine print and follow up if any leg of your flight involves EgyptAir as a codeshare partner. A long story (one that has taken many hours of my time over the past FOUR days) but I'll make it short...
EgyptAir does not have to honor their portion of your booking, in either price or actual ticketing. In addition, this messaging is quite cryptic, even for a fairly well-traveled customer to notice.
This isn't to dissuade anyone from using the airline, but to help avoid the same thing from happening to someone else. We were less than seven days from travel and realized our flight that we booked in June, was missing the EgyptAir leg and was never ticketed on their end. Not fun. Thanks to an amazing and very professional supervisor at Continental, who has seen this before, we are all sorted and on our way via Continental and Ethiopian Airlines.

We're headed to Cairo on Thursday for an eventful weekend of exploring before heading to Addis on Monday where we will most certainly be on pins and needles in anticipation of meeting Baby N on Tuesday. I get all jittery just thinking about it!

In a few hours, we're headed to my brothers for some pool, heat and bbq'ing fun.
Happy July 4th all!